The Paul Brothers Claim Mayweather Needs This Exhibition

Culture Hack

Zeitgeist

The Paul Brothers Claim Mayweather Needs This Exhibition

This summer, Logan Paul and Floyd Mayweather will square up in a no wins eight-round exhibition fight. Though Mayweather has been a world class fighter for decades, the Paul brothers claim that the 44-year-old needs the fight for his reputation more than they do. Logan went on to say that boxing was doing much worse than MMA until influencers got involved and they and the rest of his kind are doing the sport a favor. 

 

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How the New Generation of NBA Players are Changing Athlete Style

Culture Hack

Zeitgeist

How the New Generation of NBA Players are Changing Athlete Style

Fashion and sports has always been an interesting dynamic; most athletes come prepared with at least two different non-team outfits just for one game due to the amount of publicity and camera exposure they get. And while most athletes have gotten flack for their poor taste, the new generation of NBA players are being deemed as more stylish than those that have come before them. The most important element of this new style wave among younger athletes is the personality and character they bring to their fashion statements. 

 

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Mike Tyson and Other Pro Athletes are Making Psychedelics Widely Accepted

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Zeitgeist

Mike Tyson and Other Pro Athletes are Making Psychedelics Widely Accepted 

One of the biggest problems pro-athletes have been plagued with when they’ve reached the end of their prime is chronic pain and the possibility of opioid addiction to treat said chronic pain. But boxing legend Mike Tyson and some other retired pro-athletes are turning to another, not as accepted remedy: psychedelic drugs. Another athlete, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, recently went to an ayahuasca camp with 30 other participants. The MMA fighter said he has never felt as healed or recovered than when he tried the natural drug.

 

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Influencers in the Ring: How Social Media Culture has Changed Boxing

Culture Hack

Culture Hack

Influencers in the Ring: How Social Media Culture has Changed Boxing

In the past year, controversial YouTube influencer Jake Paul has had three boxing matches, winning all three of them. His brother Logan Paul, known for his incredibly troubling video in Aokigahara Forest of Japan, had started to box at a professional level before him. When the Pauls first announced that he was getting involved in the legendary sport, many were confused and mad that the personality — who has had far too many accusations of racism, sexism, and homophobia — was infiltrating yet another industry. And fans of the sport were outraged by the fact that someone who had not been training and dedicating most of their life to the ring would just rise in ranks above others who did not have a social status to get them there. 

Weirdly enough, the Paul brothers’ involvement in boxing isn’t the only update in the sport’s world. The brothers, if anything, inspired other influencers to create a tournament, a league of their own. In mid-June, the “ultimate” battle between two of the biggest influencer factions will take place in the YouTube vs TikTok boxing showdown. The series of fights have already gained much traction, especially from the tension between the night’s most anticipated pair, Austin McBroom and Bryce Hall — both of which also have many controversies attached to them.

Although most of the influencers entering the ring have had some sort of training that guides them through this new industry, fans are still not convinced that this new influencer branch of boxing is as serious as the same boxing that many great athletes competed in. But is this just what boxing needs? The increase in “super fights” where the name is usually prioritized over general ranking of athletes over the years suggests that sponsors and — as much as they may hate to admit it — fans are more interested in seeing people they dislike duke it out against each other or get pummeled by the pros. 

One could argue, however, that influencer boxing isn’t really boxing. It’s more of a reality show with a long, slow build up rather than a sporting event. People want to discuss the boxing-involved drama out of the ring instead of the strategic moves in the ring. The buzz comes from trash talk and influencer alliances rather than breathtaking boxing moves. Like other forms of entertainment, the audience for boxing is getting younger and younger. And while there are still people that enjoy the pure form of the sport, it is clear that the younger generations are also entertained by influencers. 

In short, influencer boxing may be good for the sport as a whole but fans most likely don’t see it as a sport; it is a hybrid form of entertainment but not something that will create boxing idols or people in the sport to look up to. 


Why Multicultural Athletes Have Always Been Targeted by the Press

Culture Hack

Culture Hack

Why Multicultural Athletes Have Always Been Targeted by the Press

Earlier this month, the world’s No. 2 in tennis, Naomi Osaka, decided to withdraw from the French Open. It wasn’t because of an injury or a family emergency and far from being about the 23-year-old’s ability to compete. It was for her mental health. The days leading up to the competition, Osaka had made it clear that she would not be participating in any of the tournament’s press engagements in an effort to preserve her mental health. Osaka took to Twitter to explain her anxiety, saying that she is “not a natural public speaker and [gets] huge waves of anxiety before [she speaks] to the world’s media.” 

Despite Osaka’s bravery in admitting her public engagement flaws, all the four-time major winner was given by tournament officials were threats of elimination and fines. From her fellow athletes — especially athletes of color — Osaka received an outpouring of support, understanding, and encouragement to do what she felt she needed to do. Sadly, this support had less to do with the fact that Osaka is loved and appreciated by most for her skills (which she is) and more to do with the fact that this antagonization of multicultural athletes is nothing new. 

Marshawn Lynch, the Williams sisters, Colin Kaepernick, and Lebron James are only a few Black athletes that, similar to Osaka, have had to endure the pressures of the media. Whether it be scrutiny on their unwillingness to speak on their personal lives away from the game or the use of their platform to stand for something, these athletes were never granted the same respect in the eyes of the media that they earned in their sports. So why is it that some of the most respected, most inspirational people in the world cannot decide how to interact with the press the way they’d like to?

The way that athletes of color are treated in the public is an issue that goes far beyond systemic racism, though that is part of the problem. It’s this idea that trophy winners should just be that, neutral territory for anyone of any systemic belief system can support and not feel conflicted about. For far too long, many have seen these players of games as just that. But they are more than jersey numbers or highest records; they are people who have the power to change and are willing to use that power for good. They are people who dedicate their days to intense training and play but certainly deserve all the time off the court to focus on their mental health. They are figures of health and wellness and should be healthy and well even when they’re recovering from the games they know.

Though there is no one solution to fully supporting athletes of color, it is clear that the pressure needs to be turned away from them and onto the press and officials tethered to their game. Exploiting people for their crafts while trying to reveal their personal life vulnerabilities is no longer an acceptable option. 


How Lack of Representation is Connected to Cultural Appropriation

Culture Hack

Culture Hack

How Lack of Representation is Connected to Cultural Appropriation

At the end of May, Kendall Jenner officially launched her tequila brand to the public after months of teasing fans with her latest business endeavor. Though Jenner is not the first celebrity to enter the world of alcohol brands, she did take the concept a step further by putting out three different types of tequila, creating merch to go along with the products, and a promotional video that depicts Jenner being involved in the process of making her tequila. And while some of the 25-year-old model’s following is excited for this new product, most feel like she is contributing to the exploitation and appropriation of a culture whose worth goes beyond a bottle of alcohol. But Jenner isn’t the only one and alcohol isn’t the only product. 

The culture of many marginalized communities has been setting trends for popular culture for years. Whether it be the rise of hip hop music and aesthetics in the late 1980s or the influence of Latinx music in the 2010s, people of color have been setting the tone for the general culture yet have never received the full recognition they deserve. And though this has been an issue for years, society is just now acknowledging that it exists.

According to Statista, only 6.8% of Oscar winners were minorities.

Some of the more recent actions against the lack of recognition when it comes to marginalized groups’ contributions to culture have included NBC’s cancellation of the Golden Globes after reports of exclusion and an increase in the support of minority-owned, authentic businesses. But is this enough? Will this actually make up for the decades of appropriation and the diminishment of cultural value? Simply put, minority communities deserve more. They want the security of recognition for future generations and to succeed in ways that their white counterparts have been all along and for their culture to be done accurately and honorably. 

Making up for previous faults in representation and inclusion can ultimately come in one form: creating the space for minority groups and their cultures to be celebrated correctly. Older institutions that have been corrupted with societal racism will take much longer than desired to reverse their previous ways. In the meantime, we need to provide these spaces for marginalized individuals and we need to commit to uplifting them at all costs. 

Though one may feel drawn to support Jenner’s tequila, they should make an effort to find and support Mexican-owned brands instead. Lovers of hip hop should prioritize supporting Black artists who are continuing the genre’s culture for their predecessors. TV and Film fans should fight for BIPOC creators to earn the recognition they deserve. While systemic racism has taken many opportunities for earning credit away from marginalized groups, we all have the power to give credit where it is deserved and to learn about other cultures authentically and from a source of authority. 


Why Brands Need to be Genuine With Their Campaigns During Pride Month

Culture Hack

Culture Hack

Why Brands Need to be Genuine With Their Campaigns During Pride Month

Every June, the LGBTQ+ community and their allies celebrate the resilience, sacrifices, and bravery of its past and present members. During non-pandemic times, the streets of major cities all across the country are filled with Pride flags, signs, and other indications of support. In the past few years, a few corporations have also shown their support for the community and its mission towards equal love. But, when it comes to a community that has often been characterized and turned into a number of stereotypes, is there a right way and a wrong way to be a corporate ally during Pride month? 

The Pride flag, in all of its rainbow glory, has become a go-to center piece for all of the month’s themed goods and programs. And though there is some genuine interest in representing LGBTQ+, it seems like an easy attempt at making a month that recognizes hardship and perseverance just another Hallmark holiday. The rainbow color scheme might be the signature look of the month but it’s not all that corporations should turn to during Pride. Being honored needs to go hand-in-hand with being represented and for a community that has been kept out of whatever societal standards are, both should be applied by companies.

One thing that should be taken into consideration when running a Pride campaign is paying tribute to the queer community’s predecessors and how they fought to be themselves. Television network FX, for example, has released a mini documentary series ahead of Pride month that discusses LGBTQ+ rights and the figures who fought for equality. The series goes through the 1950s up until today, exploring the different queer culture from each decade and the struggles that society posed to the community. FX filled the documentary with culture and facts and, ultimately, was still able to honor while represent the queer community. 

When it comes to apparel, Converse is one of the few brands that is bringing accuracy and fashion together. This year, the lifestyle sneaker company acquired Pride-themed designs from artists in the LGBTQ+ community to create a colorful collection with the purpose of spreading love and appreciation. On top of these creations, the sneaker brand has also donated $1.3 million in support of both domestic and international LGBTQ+ organizations, including the It Gets Better Project. The brand is not only committing to celebrate the community but also to invest in a brighter and healthier future for its members.

In short, there is a right way to go about showing your support during Pride month. There is nothing wrong with being an ally, however, there is a certain aesthetic and attitude that can easily feel distant. Showing support is more than stamping your company logo in the middle of a Pride flag; it’s about showing respect for a group that has had to fight for their right to love and supporting the incredibly talented and creative people within the community.


Represent the Market: How Diversity and Inclusion is Approached in Marketing Today

Culture Hack

Culture Hack

Represent the Market: How Diversity and Inclusion is Approached in Marketing Today

For decades, advertisements and promotions for companies have promoted the most ideal versions of society. People that looked “normal” and lived “normal” lives according to societal standards were vehicles of marketing, selling a variety of products to populations that most likely didn’t look like or live like them at all. Being the best meant being the most perfect and, more bluntly, the most unrealistic. The people who these brands most likely want to reach are much more complex than the conventional. But in an age where we’ve realized that rose-tinted glasses aren’t the healthiest or effective way to view the world, this marketing mindset just isn’t as impactful. 

Today, when the mistreatment and exclusion of so many marginalized groups is circulated on social media platforms and the internet, brands need to accurately reflect their consumer base. The bare minimum of representation is no longer enough; people of all skin tone shades, of all cultural backgrounds, of all orientations and preferences, want to see themselves in the products that they purchase. They deserve iconic commercials that will be referred to throughout pop culture history, to know that companies have them on the brain always, and, most importantly, to feel seen. 

While some businesses are still learning how to be inclusive without making it a trope, there are a good number of brands that are not just representing but making it their mission to accurately reflect their consumers. Mega product seller and tech company Amazon, for example, has been embracing the diversity in its employee pool and how it is an accurate example of their large consumer base. Some of its more recent marketing campaigns have represented the deaf community, multicultural communities, and even single parents. Though the company has put out more product-forward advertisements, they still display a wide variety of marginalized people in their campaigns. 

Another company that has been successful in terms of representation and inclusion is DoorDash. The immigrant-founded food delivery company recently put out a collection of commercials partnering with Sesame Street Workshop, featuring some of its iconic puppets and “Hamilton’s” Daveed Diggs. DoorDash thought that partnering with Sesame Street was perfect because, for nearly half a century, the children’s program has encouraged inclusion more than any other form of entertainment. Daveed Diggs is also a symbol of Black success and excellence in the music and acting worlds. 

Although there is still much progress to be made when it comes to inclusion and representation in the marketing world, a few companies have proved that it is more than possible to accurately embody the consumer base. Part of fighting systemic racism is making room for marginalized multicultural groups to feel seen and to have the opportunity to become the faces of society they should have been all along. 


How Fragrance is Affected by Diversity and Inclusion

Culture Hack

Zeitgeist

How Fragrance is Affected by Diversity and Inclusion

While the beauty world as a whole has gone through a complete shift in the past year, the fragrance industry has also been going through its own revolution. In fact, social media and the youngest generations have made the industry a lot more relevant in society. Because of this, there is a lot more pressure for fragrance brands to consider more sustainable and diverse options. Consumers want cruelty-free, vegan, inclusive scents that will make them feel confident without the guilt. But how will these brands deliver? 

 

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Colorism is a Whole Other Problem Marketers Need to Fix

Culture Hack

Zeitgeist

Colorism is a Whole Other Problem Marketers Need to Fix

Though multicultural representation is growing in marketing and the media, the issue of colorism — where more “standard” or “perfect” visions of ethnicity are more popular to directors — is still present. Many popular brands are guilty of turning to colorism when they try to implement diversity and inclusion into their work. When companies are educating themselves about DEI, however, they need to be educated on the history of colorism and how to combat it in their endeavors.

 

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